Friday, January 18, 2008

Homeschooling Tips & Tricks

This Fridays Meme from The Heart of the Matter is Homeschooling tips and tricks! This will be a fun one! I hope you can join us!

My biggest struggle in homeschooling was/is staying organized and a head of clutter, or being bogged down with paper! So to help in my struggle... I try to make all the copies I need for school prior to the school year. So my tips are pre planning and storing.


The girls have general notebooks. They are in 3 inch binders. I place tabbed dividers in them that are numbered 1-36. I bought classic dividers from Tapestry Grace. Anything they might need they place in this binder. For tapestry of grace its maps, student activity pages, history pages, card stock for lap book folds and any writing assignment. These are printed before school starts in August. Each week they know right where the work is at. The only thing missing is the lap book folds and you will read about that down below.

We also have the same for science. Here is a picture of RyLees Science notebook. Inside you will find her Happy Scribe pages, lap book pages/card stock, and any written assignment or observation from an experiment. This is from this weeks lesson and we are not done just yet.

Lap book folds:

Another time saver tip is we will cut out 6-8 weeks of lessons one evening and place them in a file folder.

I keep a small folder holder close to us each day. It holds History lap books, science, note booking pages or what ever I know we will need for the year.

Scrambling to print each week burnt me out and was frustrating. This system has been working pretty well for us the past 4 or 5years. Tweaking it a little each year.

The other tip I have to share is we have our book shelf close by. Its in our mud room just off the dining area.

We do not have a school room, so I have to improvise. I also have baskets close that holds the notebooks. It keeps it all in one spot and the kids know where to put it back. I got tired of hearing " Mom wheres my notebook!" *Ü*

They also have a spot for workbooks, math books etc.

For more tips and tricks, visit some more wonderful ladies here at This weeks meme from The Heart of the Matter.


Lorraine said...

Yea, we don't have a "school room" per se either. The bakers rack has become our "school room" as it holds their baskets, and all the manipulatives for science and math and such. The biggest challenge is keeping the clutter from creeping in and hiding the school supplies. Like the cut it in advance technique! and the file folder holder... awesome! Thanks for the ideas!

Tina said...

I love the way you have worked out your storing/organizing issues. Seeing your schooling are first hand, I have to say it looks very very well organized & peaceful looking too! :o)


Anonymous said...

My older son took a lapbooking class last year on state history. It was neat to learn how to lapbook, and we've tried it once or twice at home.

We homeschool at our dining room table, so we moved from working out of boxes to getting microwave carts to buying a cabinet with doors for all our homeschooling supplies. It's nice to have everything in one place and wooden doors to hide all our stuff.

lori said...

What a PLAN you have girl!
I'm coming over to have a see for myself....oh yeah, you are on the OTHER side of the country....BUMMER...
I love the lapbook system..I may have to tap your brain on that!
I've started having mine do them with the Units in their books and some really LOVE them!!

Tweaking is the key!! You are a veteran and we need to tap the minds of the veterans!!!
Thanks for sharing...
especially the pics, for us visual types!!
Have a great night!!

my5wolfcubs said...

Loved seeing all the pictures! Very helpful to me!! :)

Anonymous said...

What great ideas, Lisa. I love the idea for printing out weeks at a time and keeping them in files. I too get burnt out printing each week--it's just so time consuming. Thanks for sharing!


mom24 said...

Thanks for these ideas! I started 1st grade classical curriculum this year and have been bogged down by having to make copies each week or each evening. This summer I will plan on having all the copies made and each day's lessons where Jason can access them himself. Organization really is key in keeping me from getting oeverwhelmed (especially since I will be schooling all 4 in a few years - yikes).
Where can I learn more about what a lapbook is? Sounds like a fun learning method.
Loved your article on HOTM!

LisaWA said...

Hi Andrea... Lap books are a pretty fun method. Look at this website here: Squido

This is loaded with information. Tobins Lab sells a book called The ultimate lap book Handbook. Here is that link:

Its wonderful because it can walk you through many lap books and tell you what folds to use, what questions to use etc.

Also, Dinah Zikes Big Book of books is another resource that is great to have. Loaded with all kinds’ ways to show work, not just lap books. Like dioramas, charts, science displays etc.

Here is a video thats pretty helpful too.
Lap book lessons for free


This one

You tube has a lot now... just search when you have time. *Ü* I hope this is helpful!


Diane said...

You are sooo organized, I LOVE it. You need to rub that off on me more. :)

Have a great week.

Rachel said...

Oh I agree with Diane.... Rub off on me, PLEASE!! Your children are so blessed to have you :-) I can't wait to read more and learn from your wisdom!

Thanks for being such a source of encouragment to me this past month.. you rock!


randi said...

I have thought of notebooking in the past, but have never actually done it. I even bought one of Diana Zike's books this summer. Your post makes this look quite fun and managable. Thanks for the inspiration!

Tressa said...

I love you organization. Wow! I need some classes on that.

I never thought to search youtube for lapbooking ideas. I foresee a long night on the computer. LOL

mom24 said...

Thanks for all the links! I am just now getting around to them. I think the kids will love lapbooking! Also, I linked from my weekly report to this post since it was so helpful - thanks sooo much!

keri said...

Nice organizing...
it sure helps the day run smoothly!